As someone who recovered from years of persistent pain, I know firsthand the frustration of pursuing all available conventional and alternative treatments without experiencing lasting improvement. I understand the great hopelessness and loss of agency that comes from being "sentenced" to a life of chronic pain. My family, career, social, emotional and spiritual life were all deeply impacted. Having experienced many pitfalls and setbacks along the way, my experience can help you navigate more directly toward health.
Leveraging the highly neuroplastic nature of the brain (structure and function change through use), I provide you with proven tools that significantly reduce or eliminate the symptoms of chronic pain and stress-related disorders. My approach is based on research studies published by highly reputable medical journals, such as The Lancet and Journal of the American Medical Association.
Being a former clinical nurse, I understand importance of empathy and listening to my clients. Learning about your life, personality, family and cultural background, and health goals will help me to develop a tailored plan to restore your wellbeing and foster resilience in the face of life stressors.
Most health care practitioners do not have enough time to get to know their patients, and tend to only focus on structural abnormalities. Consequently, they run the risk of missing important clues in other dimensions of their patients’ lives. They may neglect factors that contribute to the origination and persistence of symptoms. The conventional modality of symptoms management often perpetuate chronic conditions and impede recovery. While medications can be helpful, they often do not address the underlying issue.
Modalities such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic are often temporarily efficacious for alleviating pain and other stress-related symptoms. However, these therapies are rarely curative, especially for patients with severe chronic symptoms. These patients may become dependent on alternative treatments without making significant overall improvements. Such treatments may allow patients to "get by," without dealing with emotional or neurological factors that continually fuel their symptoms.
I utilize the neuromatrix and biopsychosocial models for understanding pain. I pay close attention to details such as my client’s personality traits, social and family histories, past and current stressors, as well as emotional and spiritual wellbeing. I utilize the insights of neuroplasticity to help clients modify their interpretations and reactions toward their symptoms. This often leads to significant and long-lasting symptom reduction or elimination. Clients may also experience alleviation in insomnia, anxiety and depression.
Neuroscientists today understand that the pain experience goes far beyond tissue pathology, and that pain is not equivalent to nociception.
Because the pain experience is always created by the brain, it is a highly complex neurological phenomenon that is affected by physical, psychological, and social factors. These factors not only influence the pain experience, but also shape the structure and function of the Central Nervous System.
The biopsychosocial model is currently widely accepted as "the most heuristic approach to chronic pain" by experts in the pain management industry. I utilize this model in order to identify and understand the underlying mechanisms leading to one's pain experience. I believe that getting the full picture can lead to the best outcomes.
What do the experts say about the Biopsychosocial Model? If you are a science nerd like me, click on the button below to read about it!
All pain is real. There is no such thing as pain that is "all in your head." However, all pain is created by the brain (whether due to injury, inflammation, or degeneration, etc.), so understanding how the brain works is key to altering the pain experience.
The cognitive techniques that I use are not "mind over matter" or positive psychology, but rather, they seek to alter the activity level of certain brain areas involved in pain processing. For example, neuroimaging research shows that increasing DLPFC activity or decreasing amygdala activity can "dial down" pain in real time.
Clients do not need to understand the intricacies of the brain in order to learn these simple cognitive exercises.